- Bypassing Willits
- Fees Increase
- March Rain
- Little Dog
- Grange Love
- Counterfeit Bills
- Mendo Film
- Yesterday's Catch
- Hawaiian Holidays
- State Government
- Healthcare Systems
- Library Events
- Forest Health
- Part-time Reporter
- Wildfire Grants
- Real Opposition
- Millionaire Airmen
- Blaming Russia
- Bail Reform
- Marco Radio
- Mother Liberty
JENNIFER POOLE, writing in the March 30 edition of the Willits Weekly, describes a bill proposed by North Coast assemblyman Jim Wood which would "revitalize" the city of Willits and other cities made less traveled by recent highway bypasses. The proposed funding would partially compensate for the loss of re-routed traffic.
Although the proposal is considered to be a "long shot" by the assemblyman's staff, Willits officials are giving it all the support they can. Apparently Willits factored in a 35% reduction in sales and gas tax revenues for the upcoming fiscal year based on the bypass-related downtown traffic reduction.
And the Willits Chamber of Commerce has said that sales and gas tax revenue losses will range from 20-50% since the bypass opened.
Not mentioned in the Willits Weekly article, however, is how much more the city will have to pay for street maintenance. Willits has assumed responsibility for Main Street, aka Old Highway 101, which previously was maintained by Caltrans.
A reduction in traffic on Main Street, aka Old 101, has been fairly dramatic since the bypass. But there's still a lot downtown traffic as well as traffic exiting Highway 101 for the Coast since the bypass did not include an interchange linking Highway 101 to Highway 20 to Fort Bragg.
Willits city manager Adrienne Moore hopes to use any revitalization money from the state for billboards, broadband upgrades, and sporting venue improvements. No actual dollar estimates were provided, but obviously Willits is not benefiting from the bypass. We assume the Willits Weekly will keep track of Willits City Council budget discussions to see exactly how much negative budget impact the Bypass will cause.
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS routinely approved the large Planning Department fee increases proposed a couple of weeks ago with one minor exception: the cost of a minor administrative coastal development permit which was proposed to increase from about $700 to about $2800 was reduced to about $1700. All the other large fee increases were approved without discussion. Supposedly, these are supposed to reflect the actual cost, so either the previous fees were badly underestimated, or the new ones have been padded to include every imaginable billable service they can because 1) the County has a monopoly and can include whatever they want in the fee calculation, and 2) the increases are far above ordinary inflation. In addition, if anyone has noticed that the service has improved in accordance with the fee increases in the last year, we are not aware of it.
FOR COMPARISON, we looked at Humboldt County's planning department fee schedule. Unfortunately, the terminology varies for many of the items and we can't be sure if the same service is involved for the same activity, but Humboldt County's fees overall are less than Mendocino County's.
For example, a minor subdivision in Mendo costs about $3800, up from about $2500. Humboldt County charges a $2500 minimum plus $300 per lot for more than five lots.
Mendocino County charges about $2300 for a minor use permit, up from about $1600. Humboldt County does not have a fee listed for "minor use permits" except in the County Counsel's office where they don't exceed $600.
Mendocino County charges about $1600 (up from about $900) for an appeal to the Board of Supervisors. Humboldt County charges about $750.
Mendocino charges about $7700 for a major/partial parcel subdivision (up from about $5000). Humboldt County does not list a fee for major subdivisions except for $1100 in the County Counsel's office.
Coastal Development permits in Mendocino now cost about $1700; Humboldt County charges "actual cost, minimum deposit of $1500."
Clearly, Mendocino County is overcharging for planning fees and somebody ought to file an official complaint about them. At no time during the board's approval of the large recent fee increases did anyone ask how the Mendocino County fees compare with neighboring counties.
THEY'LL BE PLANTING BANANA TREES ANY DAY NOW
Yorkville reported 6.6 inches of rain in March of 2017, bringing their season total, thus far, to 80.2 inches.
10.36" October 6.76" November 9.92" December 24.92" January 21.64" February 6.60" March
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I try to help out around here. Do they appreciate my input? Noooooooo. So they moved a Japanese maple in front of the office, and I offer, 'Too much sun for that maple in that spot,' I say. 'Too much unsolicited advice from you,' the boss says, 'and I better not catch you telephone pole-ing this tree either.' See what I mean? This is what I live with.”
THE GRANGE WARS, ANOTHER VIEW
by: Granger BB Grace
Please make that: VERY PROUD GRANGER B.B. GRACE
I’ve heard that everything you need to know to get by in life you learn by age 5. I was five when I went to my first Easter egg hunt. It was a beautiful day and my Mom dressed me in a beautiful dress warning me to not get it dirty as she walked me to the big iron gates holding back a crowd of Sunday best dressed kids and left me there. I summed up that this was a losing battle immediately as kids don’t just stand still waiting for the gates to open and when they did it was a bigger rush than any line of race horses. We were off and running. It appeared some kids thought the object was to find eggs to stomp. This game made finding an egg to put in the basket impossible. Then some kids began taking eggs out of other kids baskets to stomp, and the victims began crying and throwing smashed eggs which started an egg war. The rotten deal of all this mess was the game didn’t end until someone found the golden egg.
Personally I didn’t like eggs at the time. Finding an egg was only important so my parents wouldn’t frown as keeping the beautiful dress clean was all I had to do and I had failed getting in the gate. Not only that, but the egg war made me feel I that had to hide. I saw some bushes I thought I might be able to use as a shield and what did I see?
The Golden Egg.
What was so great about finding the golden egg was ending the war, though I’m sure the egg stompers and tossers would disagree. I needed my Mom to help me carry the Easter basket I won filled with candy and toys enough to share with my baby brothers and neighborhood chums and our parents. Maybe the best part about the golden egg is I didn’t get in trouble for getting my beautiful dress dirty?
As a 7th degreed Granger my personal opinion about “Grange War” is: There is a proper way for a community to obtain a Grange Hall, like Caspar Community Center was once a Grange Hall, as Mendocino County once had 9 Granges. There is a proper way to obtain the real estate. That is not what ex seventh degree brother MacFarland is doing and he knows it.
The majority of Guilders have no clue how much property is Chartered with the State and National Granges. MacFarland and those being paid by MacFarland know. It’s a shame to see so many good Guilders being set up to be smashed by a MSM urban con man who is interested in Grange property and banking on Guilders ignorance of Grange protocol.
I’m very proud to be a Granger as I have the golden egg in this war, Whitesboro Grange. I LOVE MY GRANGE; my brothers and sisters with ALL my heart. We had an outstanding breakfast last Sunday as usual. No war at Whitesboro, just LOVE.
BB Grace, Fort Bragg
THE FOLLOWING PRESS RELEASE was issued by the Lakeport Police Department Friday @ 11:48 am...
"The Lakeport Police Department is alerting local businesses to be aware of counterfeit $100 bills circulating around the city. A representative of Umpqua bank reported receiving four counterfeit $100 bills from local businesses at the Lakeport branch within the past few days.
The Police Department encourages local businesses to become familiar with identifying counterfeit bills and has attached a link to the Secret Service Website along with a photograph which depicts security features built into the U.S. Currency which will assist in identifying counterfeit $100 bills.
After clicking the link, choose the 'Investigation' tab on the webpage. Then select 'know your money' for detailed instructions on identifying counterfeit bills.
For further information contact the Lakeport Police Department at 707-263-5491."
MADE IN MENDO SHORT FILM
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 1, 2017
BRET BENGSTON, Ukiah. Parole violation.
TZADIK BRANDOVYSRAEL, Willits. Drunk in public.
JAYLEN FABER, Ukiah. DUI.
KEVIN HOFLAND, Covelo. DUI.
TIMOTHY HOWE, Covelo. DUI, suspended license.
CHESHIRE MAIAVA, Fort Bragg. Burglarly, petty theft, receiving stolen property, burglary tools, failure to appear, County parole violation.
ROBERT MANSFIELD, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
CORT MILLER, Covelo. First degree robbery, armed with firearm, ex-felon with firearm, ten-year enhancement for use of firearm during a crime, resisting, failure to appear, probation revocation.
KEVIN NOON, Troy, New York/Ukiah. DUI-drugs.
BEAU NUNEZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, probation revocation.
MARTIN PAGE, Santa Rosa/Willits. Drunk in public, resisting.
MARK RAY, Laytonville. Trespassing, probation revocation.
AUDREY ROLLINS, Port Charlotte, Florida/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
VANCE SCHAUS, Fort Bragg. Vehicle theft, metal knuckles.
TARA SHEPARD, Willits. Under influence, probation revocation.
KENDALL TRAVIS, Ukiah. Vehicle theft.
BART WELLS, Calpella. DUI.
NOTES FROM CHRISTMAS PAST
by Jake Rohrer
Runnin' to and fro, hard workin' at the mill,
Never fail in the mail, Jack, come a rotten bill
— Chuck Berry “Too Much Monkey Business”
Chuck's never fail in the mail line came to me the other day when I was paying bills. He is, in my mind, without peer, the all-time Poet Laureate of rock & roll. And he's still going, even if he can't match the natural brilliance he exhibited some 60-odd years ago. Who at that age can? Warren Buffet, maybe. Nonetheless, Chuck has announced a new album release for 2017 while at the same time surviving a celebrity death hoax. More than anyone else, he wrote the soundtrack for my early teens.
My wife Laurie (aka Lolly) and I went into town (Kahului) yesterday to fulfill a self-imposed penance: passing out some 20-dollar bills to some of those who really need it, an act to atone for my whining about bills that come in the mail and other such things that rankle my dander. Like the Maui “Salary Commission” voting a 12% raise to the six-figure salaries of the mayor and his department heads while I note that my Social Security cost of living increase, one-third of one percent, matched, exactly, the increase in my Medicare Part B premium, resulting in a net gain of zero in spendable income.
Whining unabated, I considered the fact that the monthly premium for my Kaiser Senior Advantage health plan went from $38 to $194 monthly, a 400+ percent increase (although coverage and co-pays are improved). Wah, wah, wah. Then I opened another bill to find that the County wants $255 for the annual privilege of negotiating our 13 year-old Honda over shabby upcountry roads, around pot-holes and closures, providing however, that I pay someone $20 to walk around the car to certify that the lights and horn are working and that I am duly insured, this after I drive 20 miles into town to find a licensed inspector. And on and on. Too much monkey business. Waah!
In an effort to achieve some sort of satisfaction, I've written down all of these complaints in a letter to the editor of the Maui News and I'm about to send it off, but decide to read it again. My god. What a whiner this guy is. Now I'm ashamed of myself. So I add a final paragraph expressing my shame and finish things with a positive thought: I am one of the lucky ones, able to make it anyway. To compensate for my whining, I will go into town and pass out some twenty dollar bills to some of those who really need it. A fine way to celebrate the season without buying tinsel and plastic crap to decorate the house and yard.
Armed with our budget of twenties, we go in search of the needy, dirtbaggers and shopping cart people, true unfortunates. We're also going to shop at Costco, Lowe's, Home Depot and such—Maui's biggest malls and retailers of junk. We agree that Salvation Army Santa bell-ringers are also worthy recipients and we think we will encounter plenty of those, along with some beggars.
Where are the needy when you need them? Amazingly, we find there are no bell ringers at any of the big-box stores we stop at, no one with signs pleading for money. We pass on a group of rag-pickers we spot on the street, all male, youngish and appearing a little too thug-like, not quite truly needy. We pull out of a mall into the crowded flow of traffic and I spot a guy with a sign, hawking the cars exiting the mall. “There's one,” I say. But wait! Just beyond, around the hedge a few feet further on, is the guy we're looking for. Unshaven and unwashed, asleep on the sidewalk beside his shopping cart, dressed in a raggedy jacket, his pants torn and frayed, shoes that may not have matched, a piece of cloth tied around his forehead. He made the guy with the sign appear groomed and dapper.
There is no parking or place to pull over so I stopped in the traffic lane, holding up all the cars coming from behind, while Lolly struggled to find a twenty in her purse. She exited the car, “...hurry, Lolly,” and approached the sleeping unfortunate who opened his rheumy eyes, not understanding what might be happening. Lolly put the twenty in his shirt pocket, “Merry Christmas, take care,” and turned to come back to the car. I watched as realization and gratitude are expressed in his focusing eyes; he lifted his head from the sidewalk, looked at me and nodded an appreciative acknowledgment, mouthing a “thank-you” I didn't hear but understood. The several cars behind us had a ringside seat to what we were up to and there wasn't a single angry or impatient honk from any of them. I looked in the mirror at the driver behind us and thought I could see agreement in her eyes, “…yes. It is a good thing that you do. I will do the same.”
Then we're off to Pa`ia and Mana Foods where, surely, we will find more needy souls, but no such luck, just a couple of throwback hippies playing amplified guitars in front of their psychedelia-painted VW bus. We head home and will try again tomorrow.
We didn't fare much better the next day. A late afternoon drive through Wailuku is fruitless, but we found a Salvation Army bell-ringer in front of a Longs at the Maui Mall. It shouldn't be difficult finding the needy and homeless on this island, considering that the County rousts, bulldozes and otherwise bullies the homeless and their encampments on a regular basis, and maybe that's the root of our problem: they succeed in getting them out of sight lest aspersion be cast upon this paradise, primped and manicured for the pimps and touts who pitch the tourist market. On the local news I've seen bulldozers uproot homeless encampments, here and on Oahu, and I am reminded of the “scoops” that are dispatched to sweep the rioting homeless from the streets in the all too prophetic “Soylent Green.” Rioting, of course, because they've run out of biscuits.
By Christmas day we were able to find homes for the rest of our twenties, more bell-ringers and a couple of destitutes who also get some of our tasty tangerines out of the deal.
“I don't like it, but I guess things happen that way.” – Johnny Cash
It is utterly inexplicable to me that we have elected Donald Trump, an unapologetic huckster, conman and world class liar (as well as other things), to preside over these United States. Already he has proved to be all that I feared, and he's not yet in office, just warming up. A media article reports that Mr. Trump is having difficulties getting “A-List” entertainers for his inauguration, maybe because many are flocking to a rival event planned to compete with the swearing-in ceremonies and to embarrass Mr. Trump while getting under his very thin skin. Michele Obama has suggested we go “high” when Trump and his supporters take the “low” road and I wondered, is this plan—although not proposed by Ms. Obama—an example going high? I thought it similar, if milder in nature, to something Trump the huckster showman might come up with, a planned embarrassment like seating former female accusers in front of the Clintons during the presidential debates. What kind of indecent, demented mind comes up with a plan like that to present to a world audience? That in itself should have been enough to send this vile and stunted man running for cover, yet we instead elected him to the office he mocks. It can only be assumed that his supporters applaud his behavior. I believe, however, they know not what they've wrought.
I conclude that Mr. Trump himself set the stage. These are the rules by which he has chosen to play. Accordingly, a competing event must be seen in the context of protest, of going “high,” certainly when compared to the many “low” roads he has traveled to reach his current station. I'm almost surprised he could nonetheless attract the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (less one member who quit in protest) to celebrate his ascension to an office for which he is clearly not fit. The real competing event, however, promises to be the marches planned all over the country the day following inauguration.
I used to rail at Geo. W. for sleeping through the warnings of the coming 9/11, for starting his own war in Iraq, preening under his “Mission Accomplished” banner and so forth ... but looking at Trump's gross behavior and glaring psychological deficits, I fear he could one day dwarf the mistakes of Mr. Bush. I'll add this: I hope I'm wrong.
From the Backyard at Ulu Loa
Lolly and I mourn the passing of the music business as we once knew it, but we look back at all the music we produced, the friends we made, all that we learned, as well as our mistakes, and we are proud and generally satisfied. There are a few disappointments. I've always regretted that the CD we made for Willie Nelson, backed by the wonderful jazz quartet, Gypsy Pacific, was never completed or released. But who knows? Maybe one day. I am of course guilty of bias, but even the unfinished tracks remain my favorite Willie Nelson music. I can still picture him singing into the mic I set up over the kitchen sink, his connection to the musicians via headphones and the over-sink kitchen window that once looked into the carport now-turned-studio; Lolly on tip-toes, thrilled to have the songs of the great Willie Nelson drifting through the house, a live performance just for her. How many recording studios do you suppose use the kitchen for vocal isolation? Apologizing to Willie for my down-home studio and having to sing over the kitchen sink, he shrugged it off, saying, “…hell, that's alright. If I hear something I don't like, I've got a place to puke.”
Other disappointments, groups and songs that never got to be, just got to be. What may be the last CD we produce, “From the Backyard at Ulu Loa” features informal, live recordings by the Ulu Loa Serenaders, Kapule, and a few not quite finished studio recordings by Kai Smith, all from many years gone by. It has become one of our favorite recordings and it's not even for sale. We produced just 100 copies, intended for friends and those who appreciate traditional Hawaiian music in its finest form, from the backyard, informal, and performed by some of the most talented purveyors of the art. The Serenaders and Kapule will be familiar to those who have followed our little label. Ata Damasco, Pueo Pata and Kai Smith make up the Serenaders, while Kapule is Kai, Pueo and Leimana Abennes. Both performed in the classic Hawaiian trio tradition, trading vocal leads backed by lovely harmonies, accompanied by ukulele, guitar and upright bass. Kai's solo work is similarly classic, Kai double-tracking his own harmonies while Ata contributed his matchless Hawaiian piano to several songs. It was terribly disappointing to me that, as a group, neither the Serenaders or Kapule lasted long enough to do a formal recording. Kai's election to not finish the CD he started has always been a mystery to me, but his whole-hearted approval of the backyard CD removes any lingering questions and doubts.
With the blessings of the artists to release these recordings, it feels to us that music we always longed to present now gets to see the light of day. It gives Lolly and me a feeling of completion, a certain satisfaction mingled with joy.
I wrote these notes just after the holidays, prior to the inauguration, and now the Great Chuck Berry really is dead, never to be forgotten. Framed on my studio wall hangs a 45 rpm EP (extended play) record jacket that contained 4 of his songs, “Sweet Little Sixteen” the featured hit. It is inscribed “Best Wishes to Mary, Chuck Berry” in his neat and elegant flowing cursive. Mary is my sister. Off to one side is the notation, “N-147.” Years ago I asked her what that meant. “Oh,” she said. “That was Chuck's room number at the hotel.”
Hail, hail rock & roll . . . Hail, hail Chuck Berry!
ROBBED BY THE STATE
Common sense and objectivity in California government died well before the tracks settled for our $64 billion train to nowhere — a project that was obsolete before it began and currently is 50 percent over budget and seven years behind schedule. Why?
A $5 billion tax increase, proposed by our governor to cover infrastructure improvements, is too much, too late and too heavy on our wallets. Californians have been paying gasoline taxes, general taxes and registration fees to maintain our infrastructure for decades with nothing to show for it. Why?
The California school system ranks 10th from the bottom of 50 states. Why?
Managing groundwater, produced at nature’s whim, to a sustainable basis is absurd. Just another poor decision that requires more regulations, taxes and fees to support it. Why?
One third of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California and received $44 billion collectively in 2016. Why?
Political differences aside, the stupidity of state government is robbing your freedom and your wallet bit by bit. If the actions of this statist California government don’t upset you to the point of taking action, our once great state is lost forever.
by Louis Bedrock
There is a Seinfeld episode in which Jerry is dining with his girlfriend of the moment. The owner and chef is the girlfriend’s father and he visits the table to assure Jerry that he is going to prepare him a very special dinner.
Jerry chats with his lady for a few minutes and then visits the men’s room.
In the men’s room, Jerry encounters aforementioned father, chef, and owner of the restaurant emerging from a commode. He stands in front of the mirror and runs his hands through his hair, repeats to Jerry that he is preparing a very special dinner for him, then leaves the bathroom without washing his hands.
(Go to minute 2:21.)
I thought of this episode while I was in Overlook Hospital hooked up to an IV unit which was pumping antibiotics and periodic doses of morphine into my veins. I was being treated for a serious case of colitis. Improper hygiene can have very unfunny consequences.
I remembered the episode again the other day when I was in an upscale supermarket. It offers some very good prepared foods and I was there to buy some cooked eggplant in tomato sauce and a portion of steamed vegetables to serve over my quinoa. As I approached the prepared food section, I observed another customer examining the selections and coughing without covering his mouth. The food is partially, but not completely covered: there are openings for the serving spoons. I decided to forgo the steamed vegetables and the eggplant.
On the day I was smitten with colitis—“smitten” is a good word for the experience, I had bought from the same supermarket a container of salad assembled from ingredients in trays: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, artichoke hearts, beets, red pepper, onions, and olives. I was smart enough not to choose anything that had mayonnaise in or on it, but perhaps it is better to buy the ingredients, wash them carefully, and make the salad yourself.
Yes, I know that “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” is fallacious; however, it was a warm September day, I bought the stuff in the afternoon when it had been sitting in the trays for many hours, and I’m convinced it was the cause of my suffering.
Since I’ve become a vegan, I buy very little prepared food. There’s a good Ethiopian restaurant from which I occasionally order take-out meals; however, I know the cook and trust her.
Even when there are signs that warn employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom, or when employees are obliged to wear gloves—and even masks, one can never be sure that the food they handle is uncontaminated.
My friend Richard sent me this in an e-mail the other day. It’s entertaining, but also alarming.
She already had on a pair of gloves when I walked in. The person ahead of me was still deciding what to purchase. She asked his permission to serve me first. He agreed. I thanked him and with gloved hands, she selected the naked items that I ordered, bagged them, took my money, made change, and gave it to me. She thanked me, called me honey, smiled, and returned to serve her first customer. I held the door open allowing an old lady in red to enter. I watched discretely from outside. With the same gloved hands, she selected his naked items, bagged them, took his money, made change, and gave it to him.
She thanked him, called him sweetheart—he is younger than I. With the same gloved hands, she selected naked items of pastry from a large tray: cakes, turnovers, brownies, and cookies and filed them into their respective containers. She stopped filing to attend to the old lady. With the same gloved hands, she selected the old lady’s naked items, bagged them, took her money, made change, and gave it to her.
She thanked the old lady, smiled, called her love — she is older than me and the first customer — and returned to filing the pastries. Inside the gloves, her hands are small and clean.
She must have put them on just before I arrived.
Caveat emptor—Gloves don’t do much good if one doesn’t take them off to handle money, answer the phone, or shake hands with customers.
Colitis is seriously painful.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
My contribution, as someone who actually lives with a single-payer system: I can’t believe it’s taken you guys this long.
Yes, I have had some lengthy waits in waiting rooms. Sometimes people have to wait months for important procedures. I even pay medical bills sometimes — not everything is covered (notably my eye doctor; certainly not my dentist). Resources are finite, while demand for health care is potentially infinite; therefore health care will always be rationed. The question is, rationed how? By what mechanism, and with what priorities? By relying on market mechanisms for everything, the U.S. has perpetuated perverse incentives and allowed the extent of fraud, waste and abuse in its system to grow to truly morbid proportions. The corrupt, money-driven system in Washington D.C. is certainly part of the problem as well: the health-care lobby has long been the largest in the nation’s capital, and their investments in compliant legislators are more than handsomely rewarded.
The most significant medical procedure I’ve ever had was an outpatient septoplasty and SMD that greatly improved my breathing both awake and asleep, and hopefully cut my likelihood of heart trouble down the line by quite a bit. I never saw a bill. And no, that’s not “free health care” or a handout, and don’t let people tell you otherwise. I pay for my health care, just through a different mechanism.
Medicare for all: Have at it, people. I wish you all the success in the world.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
Immigrant Rights & Protecting Undocumented Individuals
by Antoinette Gonzalez, California-licensed attorney
Friday, April 21st 5:30 pm
Know Your Rights! Join us for a presentation by local attorney, Antoinette Gonzalez, about immigration rights & how best to prepare & protect undocumented individuals. She will also share information about potential immigration remedies & about “What’s Next? - Proposed Immigration Relief.” This presentation will be in both English & Spanish.
Antoinette Gonzalez is a California licensed attorney & a solo practitioner that enjoys legal advocacy in immigration and nationality law. She is currently a Board Member of the Northern CA Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* * *
NATIONAL POETRY MONTH @ UKIAH LIBRARY
four events for Teens & Adults in April during National Poetry Month:
Poem Cut-Ups (teens), Wednesday, April 5th 2-5pm
Poetry Magnets (teens), Wednesday, April 12th 2-5 pm
Postcard Poems & Mail Art (teens), Wednesday, April 19th 2-5pm
Into the Wild Poem (Adults & Teens): Saturday, April 29th 11-12 pm
National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.
The goals of National Poetry Month are to:
- highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
- encourage the reading of poems
- assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms
- increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
- encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
- encourage support for poets and poetry.
Poem Cut-Ups – Teens will discover how to make poems from a variety of sources, including dictionaries, newspapers, rocks, the mind, & music. We’ll have fun exploring language & syntax through play, as well as cut & paste fragments from other poems.
Poetry Magnets – We’ll make our own magnetic poetry kits to take home.
Registration is required – please call 467-6434 or email email@example.com to sign up!
Postcard Poems & Mail Art – Teens will learn about the joys of giving & receiving mail art! Using the postcard as a format, teens will draw or paint a visual image on one-side of the pre-stamped postcard, then flip it over and use the reverse side as a form to compose a poem, & finally mail it to a friend or family member.
Into the Wild Poem – Open to both teens and adults, this will be a guided poetry walk through downtown Ukiah. Using various creative writing exercises and methods, we will make poems based on visual & aural observations of our surroundings, chance operations, & play with metrics, rhythm, & cadence to discover where the line breaks take us. Into the Wild Poem will be facilitated by Melissa Eleftherion Carr (MLIS, MFA), author of field guide to autobiography, huminsect, Pigtail Duty, and others. Registration is required – please call/email Melissa to sign up: 467- firstname.lastname@example.org
All poetry events are free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Friends of the Ukiah Valley Library.
FOREST HEALTH FORUM AT WILLITS HUB ON APRIL 8
Eel River Forest Health Explored at the Willits Hub – April 8
The Eel River Recovery Project is hosting another public event at the Willits Hub on forest health on Saturday April 8 from noon to 6 PM. Representatives of the Redwood Forest Foundation and the Institute for Sustainable Forestry will make presentations and join a panel and the Native American perspective of forest health will also be shared. Forest health is a key to maintaining biodiversity, our clean water supply, production of wood products and the prevention of catastrophic fire. The condition of forest lands within the Eel River is highly variable, but with many areas are in need of improvement.
The Redwood Forest Foundation Inc (RFFI) is a non-profit corporation that is based on the community forest model. Richard Geinger is on their Board of Directors and will represent them on April 8. In 2011, RFFI acquired a loan from the Bank of America for $65 million and bought large portions of the watersheds on the west side South Fork Eel River between Piercy and Leggett. Restoration of streams flowing from RFFI lands is also essential for restoring coho salmon. The land was heavily logged by the previous owners and the amount of large diameter trees available for logging currently is low. RFFI instead logs smaller trees in a stand to reduce competition for water and nutrients, in a practice known as “thinning from below.” This reduces moisture stress and competition for light for remaining trees, so they may grow much more rapidly, and their resistance to insect infestation and disease is greatly improved.
The long term legacy of logging has also profoundly altered the hydrology of watersheds and the amount of water produced. Studies of the upper Mattole River watershed in an area bordering the Eel River watershed to the west by Humboldt State University professor Andrew Stubblefield and others found that 40-60 year old second growth forests that are “over-stocked” use much more water than old growth forests. A Friends of Eel sponsored Eel River flow study confirmed this finding in lower South Fork Eel tributary Bull Creek, where flows have decreased 50% since 1950. Although the watershed is now in Humboldt Redwood State Park, half of the watershed was clear cut in the 1950s and 1960s. Since more than half of forest lands within the Eel River watershed were similarly logged in that time period, it is likely that increased forest evapotranspiration is a significant part of the equation for decreased water supply.
Ernie Merrifield is an elder of the Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT) and sits on the Eel River Recovery Project Board of Directors. Ernie will explain how indigenous peoples used controlled burns in the winter and spring to maintain a landscape mosaic of grasslands and oak woodlands that produced abundant game animals that they could eat. Their diet also relied on acorns, so preventing encroachment of conifers in oak woodlands also maintained their food supply. Studies by Six Rivers National Forest indicate that native oak woodlands occupied 36% of the North Fork Eel River watershed historically, but that the extent of oaks is now 9% of the basin area, despite the fact that much of the watershed is in Wilderness. This suggests Native Americans were in harmony with nature and used fire to improve conditions for the benefit of the animals and themselves. Native burning practices are being revived by the Kruk Tribe in the Klamath basin and their co-management relationship with the Klamath National Forest may be a model that could also be applied in the Eel River watershed.
In addition to maintaining grasslands and oak woodlands, controlled burns can also be used to remove fuels from the forest floor, which reduces the risk of catastrophic fire. Although fires were frequent in the Eel River watershed during the recent drought, most burned slowly along the ground and naturally reduced fuels. An example is the Lodge Fire that burned extensive areas of the Elkhorn Ridge and Cahto Peak Wilderness Areas in the South Fork Eel River watershed, which are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. According to BLM fire staff, hot burn areas that caused stand replacement were rare and instead the fire substantially benefitted forest health.
The Institute for Sustainable Forestry will be represented by Jeff Hedin, who will explain the importance of non-industrial private timberlands and the need for forest health improvement on them. Vast areas of forests in the Eel River watershed are now owned by people whose interest is in rural residential development or growing cannabis, not logging, but the lands they bought were often previously logged. These forests will not improve in health over time, and instead will be prone to insect infestation and future catastrophic fire. Private land owners can often address forest health issues with grant money provided by the California Department of Forestry, but some cost-sharing or in-kind work must be supplied. Reducing stand density near homesteads and gardens not only reduces fire risk, but may also reduce molds and fungus that sometimes attack cultivars. Cumulatively, watershed-wide improvements in forest health can also restore hydrology and increase future water supply.
On Saturday, April 8 at 11:30 AM the doors at the Willits Hub at 630 South Main Street will open, with coffee and refreshments served. Presentations and a panel discussion will proceed from noon to 4 PM and will be followed by a BBQ from 4-6 PM. There is no charge for admission, but donations will be accepted. People are encouraged to support ERRP and Willits Hub crowdfunding by going to www.EverRibbon.com/ribbon/view/64018 before April 15. The forest health field trip planned for April 9 has been postponed until early June. See www.eelriverrecovery.org for more information.
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FIRE SAFE COUNCIL GRANT PROGRAM
Hazardous fuels reduction and maintenance projects on non-federal land. http://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/2017-state-fire-safe-council-grant-program-seeks-applicants/
IN AMERICA we lack a real opposition party that the system in place does not thoroughly marginalize. The Democratic Party is useless for that.
To be sure, even Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been known to mouth off about the evils of inequality. But you don’t need a bullshit detector to see that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
BLOOD MONEY: When The One Percent Sent Its Kids to War
A century ago this week, the United States entered World War One. Unlike today, the children of America’s wealthiest families were the first into battle.
by Marc Wortman
In April 1917, more than two and a half years into the bloodiest war the world had yet seen, nearly half of the 9 million soldiers, sailors and airmen, and the 5 million civilians who would be killed in the First World War already lay dead. Some 65 million men were at arms, more than all previous wars combined. Day after terrible day, some 5,000 men died on average. The names of once unknown places where millions died rang out like mournful bell tolls: Somme, Verdun, Gallipoli, Tannenberg, Marne, Ypres, Passchendaele. Despite the unprecedented violence of the first truly mechanized war, the opposing forces of Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and their allies—the Central Powers—and the Allied armies of France, Great Britain, Russia, and Italy, rarely advanced in this awful war of attrition.
Only one great power still stood aloof from the carnage. The United States had remained at peace, following President Woodrow Wilson’s dictate that Americans “must be neutral in fact as well as in name” and “impartial in thought as well as in action.” Even the infamous torpedoing of the British liner the Lusitania, drowning 1,198 people including 128 Americans, and the sinking of multiple American freighters by German U-boats could not arouse the nation for war. Although by and large sympathetic to the Allied nations, the U.S. maintained an army smaller than the Great War combatants lost in a typical month’s fighting. Its modern naval fleet had not trained for the realities of undersea warfare practiced by its potential enemies. And the dawning third dimension of the battlefield, the air war, barely figured into military thinking; the nation supported air forces smaller than Bulgaria’s.
As the battle for European dominance became a world war, no country remained an island; the globalization that has grown suspect today had already sprung fully upon the world in the form of ocean-going international trade. Demand for American products and raw materials from around the world had transformed the nation into an industrial powerhouse. As increasing numbers of ships carrying American-made goods went to the bottom of the ocean, though, more and more voices called for the country to fight to maintain freedom of the seas. Former President Theodore Roosevelt led the chorus calling upon America to enter the battle against what they decried as the Central Powers’ lawlessness.
The U.S. government largely ignored the protests. Wilson won reelection in 1916 with the slogan “He Kept Us Out of War.” But a group of men—boys, really, almost all of them too young to vote—decided that even if the government refused to prepare for war, they would do something about the situation. If the U.S. did go to war, they wanted to lead the way and they wanted to do it in the most daring and ambitious service of all, as pioneering pilots in the new age of aerial warfare. They led the country into its air power future.
Today the children of the one-percenters rarely join the military. These young men, however, most of them college students at Yale, came from the nation’s most privileged families. Among them were a Rockefeller and a Taft, one whose father headed the Union Pacific railroad empire, and another whose father served as managing partner of J.P. Morgan & Co., the world’s most powerful investment bank. Several had fathers managing and making millions on Wall Street. Some traced their lineage to the Mayflower; several counted friends and relatives among presidents and statesmen.
Despite being scions of the Gilded Age’s loftiest families, they considered it their duty to serve their country. They grew up in a time when their privileged position brought with it special responsibilities that may seem distant to us today. Barely a decade and a half after the Wright brothers’ first flight, they were convinced that America needed an air force. Given the country didn’t have one, or barely so, they decided to create their own.
A dozen learned to fly in the summer of 1916 at the splendid Long Island, New York, Gold Coast family estate of the group’s founder, F. Trubee Davison. They trained on bi-wing flying boats over the Long Island Sound. As managing partner of J.P. Morgan and Co. on Wall Street, Davison’s father, Henry P. Davison, was perhaps the most powerful banker in the world. Since the war’s outbreak, keeping the Allied powers in the fight had become Morgan’s chief business. The bank floated bonds on behalf of the British and French. Morgan also served as agents for Allied purchases of U.S. weapons and munitions, grain, iron, steel and oil, spending up to $10 million per day.
Some questioned whether the House of Morgan wasn’t pushing the reluctant nation into the war to protect its financial interests. Others accused Morgan and the British government of engineering the sinking of the Lusitania, which was known to carry ammunition in its cargo hold. In the 1930s backlash against the Great War, a Senate committee held numerous hearings, berating witnesses including partners from J.P. Morgan, in the words of a senator, for being “merchants of death” who pursued war for the “profit for the few.”
Nobody could accuse them, however, of not having put their own blood at risk. Returning to the Yale campus in New Haven, Conn., for the school year, the young men enlisted more of their friends and classmates in their flying scheme; eventually 28 joined together to form the “Yale Aero Club.” Davison went to Washington to offer the organization’s services to the Navy as a reserve unit. However, the Secretary of the Navy lacked the imagination to envision the potential value of their services for his surface fleet. Nonetheless, the farsighted Davison and his friends continued with their own family money to pursue flight training, convinced that this disruptive new technology would one day overturn the hidebound Navy’s ways of making war. With the help of a young Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Davison and some of his classmates did fly from New Haven occasionally to the New London Navy Submarine Base where they went out with their own aircraft on patrol to see if they could spot submerged submarines and to teach the submariners to avoid detection from the air. (As president during World War Two, Roosevelt would call the Yale men back to service in building up and guiding the nation’s air power.)
Early in 1917, the German Kaiser determined upon starving out Great Britain, by attacking even neutral shipping. As more and more American ships and goods went under the waves, war fever began to grip the land. Woodrow Wilson and the Navy finally realized they needed an air force. They had the seeds for one in the prescient young men from Yale. The Navy enlisted them in March 1917 and called up the First Yale Unit, the first-ever squadron in the Naval Air Reserve.
Of course the Navy still had no budget for their training. This being the “gold spoon brigade,” that wasn’t a problem. J.P. Morgan and Co. and their families paid the bill. The entire U.S. Navy Air Reserve boarded a three-car private train in New York City, including their crated-up aircraft, and went—where else?—to Palm Beach, Fla., to train. Not surprisingly, the press following their exploits dubbed them the “Millionaires’ Unit.”
On April 6, 1917, the U.S. declared war. With “civilization itself seeming to be in the balance,” President Wilson now called for war so that the world might “be made safe for democracy.”
All of the Millionaires’ Unit’s pilots won their Wings of Gold—made up by Tiffany and Co., of course—as Naval Aviators, making them among the Navy’s first 100 flyers. All except one: Davison crashed during his test flight, breaking his back, an injury that would leave him disabled for the rest of his life.
Before the end of the summer of 1917, these flyers provided the nucleus of the burgeoning navy air service. Naval airmen were the first uniformed Americans to reach France and enter combat. Yale Unit members helped build the first American overseas airbase, a training station at Le Moutchic, France, from the ground up. Robert Lovett from the Yale Unit became the first American in uniform to fly in the European theater. He was also the first uniformed American to fly on a heavy bomber mission. He was a brilliant and resourceful leader who rose up the ranks fast. He eventually devised and helped plan the nation’s first strategic bombing campaign and headed its night bomber wing. In the Second World War, he served as Assistant Secretary of War for Air, using what he had learned in the First to build up the bomber and fighter force that helped crush Germany. After that war, as one of the so-called “Wise Men” during the Cold War and a Secretary of Defense during the Korean War, he guided the development of American strategic air power.
Artemus Gates from the Yale Unit eventually commanded the dangerous Dunkirk Naval Air Station. He undertook a daring, singlehanded rescue of a plane that went down at sea, for which he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. In the next war, he returned as the Assistant Secretary of Navy for Air, giving him responsibility for building up the carrier aircraft that proved so decisive against the Japanese.
A dauntless risk-taker, David S. Ingalls, great-nephew of President William Howard Taft, became the Navy’s first Air Ace during the war. He returned to naval service in the Second World War, becoming commander of the Pearl Harbor Naval Air Station.
Erl Gould took command of the Key West Naval Air Station at age 22, making him one of the youngest officers ever to lead such a large military facility. He, too, went back into the navy during the next war. Making his way into the Pacific, he headed up the forward construction operations during the fighting at Tarawa that built the air fields needed in the air campaign against Japan.
Some of the Unit members gave their all. Albert Sturtevant became the first uniformed American killed in air combat. German fighters shot down his plane over the English Channel during a U-boat patrol. Two more of his Yale brothers-in-arms would die in the air war over Europe. One was Kenneth MacLeish, brother of Archibald, later a poet and playwright and three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
By the time of the armistice, November 11, 1918, members of the Millionaires’ Unit had fought in the air war throughout Europe, helped to sink subs, provided convoy protection, trained and led hundreds of men, tested aircraft and weapons, and commanded numerous air stations, doing everything for an air service that grew from almost nothing to a 40,000-man force that rivaled any in the war.
“The war to end all war” did nothing of the kind. It brought down centuries-old royal families, set off rebellions and revolutions, redrew the map of the world, unleashed a devastating flu epidemic, wiped out a generation of young men, and made the United States an unrivaled economic giant. An Austrian corporal gassed in the trenches on the Western Front vowed revenge for the treacherous “Jewish conspiracy” that he believed had undermined his nation and the vengeful treaty imposed on Germany. The Yale Unit flyers would take what they had learned during the First World War as their foundation for finishing the job against Adolf Hitler in the Second.
Admiral William Sims, commander of all U.S. Navy forces in Europe during the Great War, described the young men of the First Yale Unit as “twentieth-century Paul Reveres” and credited their efforts as the “romantic beginnings” of American naval aviation. He wrote, “The great aircraft force which was ultimately assembled in Europe had its beginnings in a small group of undergraduates at Yale University.”
Half a century after that war ended, Robert Lovett was asked what motivated these young men who had everything to live for to risk it all. Despite their great wealth, high birth and unlimited opportunity, they were no different in that respect than all those who have served in the century since they invented American air power. Lovett said “You could have the satisfaction of loyalty, of service, of doing something you believed in with a group of friends that you loved and respected. That’s what kept us going. No question.”
To learn more about the Millionaires’ Unit and World War One, read my history, The Millionaires’ Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Air Power and see the award-winning feature-length documentary, The Millionaires’ Unit—U.S. Naval Aviators in the First World War.
(Courtesy, the Daily Beast)
THE RUSSIANS ARE HERE!
BROAD COALITION SUPPORTS EFFORT TO REFORM CALIFORNIA’S UNFAIR AND COSTLY MONEY BAIL SYSTEM
Sacramento — A broad coalition of labor, economic justice, community-based, and civil liberties organizations applauded lawmakers’ unveiling of details to reform California’s money bail system - a system that is fraught with wasteful inefficiencies that fuel poverty and racial inequalities in California’s criminal justice system and doesn’t keep communities safe.
“Our justice system is built on the premise of equal protection for all under the law. The current bail system exacerbates California’s racial and economic inequality, punishes people for being poor, and doesn’t make us safer. There are more effective and fairer ways to protect public safety and make sure that people come back to court for trial,” say the co-sponsors of the California Money Bail Reform Act including the American Civil Liberties Union of California, Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), California Public Defender Association (CPDA), Californians for Safety & Justice (CSJ), Ella Baker Center (EBC), Essie Justice Group, Silicon Valley De-Bug, SEIU, and Western Center on Law & Poverty.
AB 42 and SB 10, the California Money Bail Reform Act, introduced by Assemblymember Rob Bonta and Senator Robert Hertzberg, respectively, are identical legislative proposals representing a growing consensus among policymakers, advocates, and impacted communities that California must shift away from a system where thousands of people are detained pretrial simply because they cannot afford to post money bail.
"When my brother was arrested, my mom had to put up our house for his bail. Now it’s like we owe them everything, otherwise we lose the house. We are forever in debt to the bail bondsman because of it. My mom has to work harder to keep up on the bills and stay out of debt, because they have so much control over our lives now,” says LeChar, a Suisun City resident and member of Essie Justice Group.
Currently, when someone is arrested for a crime, they can post bail to be released from police custody based on a pre-determined bail schedule. Judges also rely on the bail schedule to assign bail amounts at arraignment hearings. Unable to afford the total bail amounts, many people pay a for-profit bail bonds company a non-refundable 10 percent fee based on their total bail amount, a fee they don’t get back even if their case is dismissed or they are found innocent. Many people stay in jail for weeks, months, and sometimes years while their case moves forward, or plead guilty to a crime they may or may not have committed.
In California, over 60 percent of people in jails are awaiting trial or sentencing. As compared to the rest of the country, California keeps far more people in jail while they await trial. This can have significant and long-lasting impacts on both the outcome of people’s cases, as well as their health, wellbeing, and economic security. People locked up for even just a few days may lose their job, car, home, and even child custody.
"My son has struggled with his mental wellness for the last several years. When he turned 24, he was arrested. His bail was set at $150,000. I did everything I could to come up with the ten percent of $150,000 it would take to get him out. But we couldn’t make it happen. Because of his illness, in jail, he was put in solitary confinement. He gets worse and worse everyday. He needs treatment. Now he has more traumas than when he went in. I wish I could have pulled together the money, even for him to come home for a month; it would have changed so much,” says Lisa, resident of Oakland and member of Essie Justice Group.
Research shows that bail bond amounts for African American men are 35 percent higher than bond amounts for white men. Latino men have a 19 percent higher bond amounts than white men. Black people ages 18 through 29 received higher bail amounts than any other group. Among people for whom money bail is set, the odds of Black and Latino people being detained before trial is more than twice the odds of detention for white people.
AB 42 and SB 10 would help fix the state’s broken money bail system by safely reducing the number of people detained pretrial. Specifically, the bills would increase the use of evidence-based practices in pretrial decisions to provide judges, law enforcement agencies, and pretrial service providers with additional tools to assist them in assessing the likelihood that someone will return to court and can be safely released to their community as their case moves forward. The bills would also prioritize pretrial services to ensure people released while awaiting trial make all their court appearances.
Co-sponsors of AB42 and SB10 say California’s current money bail system is inefficient, and it does not enhance community safety. Wealthy people who pose a threat to the public but who can afford to post bail can be released, while low-income people who pose no such threat remain locked up. Detaining someone in jail before trial should only happen when there is a significant likelihood that a person’s release will result in great physical harm to someone else.
These reforms build upon common sense solutions adopted in other localities that have significantly reduced their use of commercial bail, such as Kentucky, New Jersey, and Santa Clara, California. In Kentucky, for example, about 70 percent of people awaiting the resolution of their cases are released; 90 percent of those make all their future court appearances and 92 percent are not re-arrested while they wait for their cases to go forward.
(ACLU Northern California)
THE SHIP OF THESEUS PROBLEM.
"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone." — Rod Serling
The recording of last night's (2017-03-31) pretty good KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download for free and enjoy, via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
An odd show. A lot of weird little things happened. The swing-arm light waited till exactly when I’d put some music on to fall off its disintegrating clamp thing, then Alex Bosworth called while I was fixing the light with parts from another light and the phone’s squiggle-cord was all tangled up in what I was comico-frantically doing, but I did it, put Alex on, and his phone was running dead out in the car he uses as a radio studio (in San Diego), rather a steampunk phone, somehow not the kind you can charge in a car, so he went away to deal with that, and the light bulb in the lamp exploded, probably because of having been shaken around before but, as I said, odd. I guess it doesn’t sound so weird now, in the daylight, with the sun shining through prisms hanging in the window and trucks going by outside but, really, when’s the last time you had a light bulb just spontaneously go bang and spray glass everywhere?
And other weird things; it is a seven-hour show; lots of time for synchronicity to develop stress microfractures in the fabric of reality and pop something.
That’s the nice part of your getting the recording: I have to do the show at night because generally there’s sweary poetry and so-called adult situations and after 10pm local time is when Americans are grudgingly allowed freedom of speech and expression on broadcast radio, but you can play the recording any time of the day or night, and skip past the parts that make you grit your teeth because who cares about this particular genre of bullshit? or it’s annoying when people sing in a foreign language because it makes you feel like they’re making fun of you, or maybe the Zeke Krahlin story unsettles you because in it a time-traveling LGBT-activist historian researching the Jesus myth discovers eleven-Jesuses-and-counting and all of them turn out to be time-traveling LGBT activist historians, say, from even farther in the future, and that’s just too much for some people’s Midwestern sensibilities. I don’t have a problem with any of this stuff, besides lightning striking my light bulbs, but I’m not the only person in the world, am I. Different people like different things, and that’s why censorship and prior restraint are against the highest law of the land.
For a little while longer, that is, until the constitutional convention that’s just four more states’ votes away from occurring and turning the U.S. into the Republic of Gilead in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
In other news, the Scott Peterson expose of another facet of the Coast Hospital financial charlie foxtrot, titled Off the Charts, turned out to really require that you see the charts the text metronomically refers to. Here: http://tinyurl.com/CoastHospitalOffTheCharts
Besides all that, also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find literally thousands of links to not necessarily radio-useful but certainly worthwhile material, such as:
You can be a hero. Take action: reform California’s screamingly unjust money bail system.
Puffer fish courtship art.
Black Holes. About a genetically superiorified melon in a voder suit.
And Jenny Nicholson politely rips on the movie Tomorrowland which, even though she’s right on every single point, dagnabbit, you should still see. (I played this before my show started. You hear the tail end of it at the beginning of the show recording.)